Table•Story dinner series launching Nov. 18 highlights international food culture in Baton Rouge

Food tells a story. Behind every classic dish, there’s the history of its roots and culture. Table•Story, a dinner event series debuting this month, aims to highlight different dishes from around the world to ignite conversations on how food stems from culture and community. 

Laura Siu, host of the Nov. 18 event, says Table•Story gives people in Baton Rouge an opportunity to come together and learn about food from different cultures. The first event focuses on Vietnamese cuisine, featuring chef and Chow Yum Phat co-owner Vu Le “Phat.” Vu Le, Siu says, learned most of his cooking skills right out of his grandmother’s kitchen—sparking a passion for the cultural significance of food. 

The dinner will include a four-course meal—including vegan and vegetarian options—with wine and beer pairings. During the dinner, Vu Le will tell guests about traditional dishes from Vietnam while he shares family stories and discusses recipes. Vietnamese food, Siu says, is often confused with dishes from other Asian cultures, so exploring the differences will also shed light on common misconceptions.

Siu says the next restaurant she’d like to feature in the series is El Tio Taqueria, a little-known restaurant on Burbank Drive serving Mexican and Honduran food. The authentic dishes offer up one-of-a-kind flavors that people in Baton Rouge may have never tried before.

“There’s a lot of holes in the wall or places a lot of people don’t know about,” Siu says. “But people keep going to the same places, so I wanted to bring awareness about what different types of restaurants we have in the city.”

Siu hopes to host three annual Table•Story events, each one dedicated to expanding the city’s knowledge about foods from other cultures—while getting to enjoy a delicious meal, of course. 

Table•Story will host its first event at Chow Yum Phat, 2363 Hollydale Ave., Nov. 18, at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online.